COLOMBO, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's Elections Commission announced on Wednesday night that the country's presidential elections will be held on Nov. 16.
The election date is set nearly two months before the incumbent's term ends. In a special gazette notification, the Elections Commission said candidates could present their nominations on Oct. 7.
The island country's main opposition party has named former President Mahinda Rajapaksa's younger brother and former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa as its presidential candidate.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's ruling United National Party (UNP) will name its candidate next week, UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said in a statement earlier on Wednesday.
The minority Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has named leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake as the JVP's presidential candidate.
Elections Commission officials, quoted in local media reports, said that there could be a record 18 candidates in this year's presidential polls.